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Thomas Meadowcroft : Represented Artist

Random Audio Sample: Medieval Rococo : for alto flute, clarinet in Bb, percussion, harpsichord and playback by Thomas Meadowcroft, from the CD Offspring Bites 3: En Masse

Photo of Thomas Meadowcroft

Photo: Harry Schnitger

Thomas Meadowcroft is a freelance composer who makes orchestral and chamber music for the concert hall, as well as music for theater and radio. His work has been described as "reaching an inexpressible purity" (Le Monde), "dreamy post-rock" (The New York Times), "never-ending, sugar-sweet" (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) and "motorized nostalgia" (The Scotsman, Glasgow).

His orchestral music has been performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Symphony Orchestra and the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg. His chamber music has been performed internationally by, among others, ensemble recherche, Eklekto Percussion Collective, Either/Or Ensemble, Ensemble Offspring, Speak Percussion, Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, Third Coast Percussion and Yarn/Wire. His music has been presented at various international festivals and concert series including Acara Festival Salihara (Jakarta), Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center (NYC), Lucerne Festival, Maerzmusik (Berlin), Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), Rainy Days Festival (Luxembourg), and Ultima Festival (Oslo). As performer, Thomas Meadowcroft has appeared at various festivals and venues including Holland Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF), Issue Project Room (Brooklyn, NY), KW Institute for Contemporary Art Berlin, and the Hawler International Theater Festival in Erbil, Iraq.

To cite the esteemed music critic Paul Griffiths, 'it is the resulting distance of the country of the composer's birth that informs several of his projects, in which memory is coming at us from several different removes'. This is evidenced, for example, in his two radio plays for German Radio and ABC RN, Song Buslines (2013) and Moving Homes (2016), fictional music soundscapes set in the composer's home state of Queensland, as well as in the 2008 sound installation for QAGOMA, Monaro Eden, which features recordings of his cousin's V8 hotrod.

Along with examining cultural memory in early 21st century Australia, much of Meadowcroft's music addresses the political economy of music as part of each work's realization. The 2017 work for live symphony orchestra, The News in Music examines TV news music and orchestral media in the service of power, whereas Die Kinder über dem Informationsmeer / Children over a Sea of Information (2019), commissioned by BASF Ludwigshafen and HKF Berlin, for children's choir and string orchestra, sees children reciting texts culled from YouTube user threads, while accompanied by 'chamber pop' string arrangements.

Thomas Meadowcroft has undertaken artist residencies at the Villa Aurora Los Angeles (courtesy of the German Foreign Office), Cité des arts, Paris (courtesy of the Berlin Senate for Cultural Affairs), the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composers' House Sydney, and the Golden Vale residence NSW (courtesy of the National Trust of Australia NSW and the Bundanon Trust). He studied composition with George Crumb at the University of Pennsylvania, and Brian Ferneyhough at the University of California, San Diego.

His music and arrangements have been released on Skirl, Mikroton, Telos, and Universal labels.

Thomas Meadowcroft — current to April 2020

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Medieval Rococo : for alto flute, clarinet in Bb, percussion, harpsichord and playback (2016) Commissioned by Ensemble Offspring.
Eremozoic Age lovers : (with texts by Edward O Wilson and the sweet nothings of anonymous lovers) (2014) Commissioned by SWR /Grete Pedersen and the SWR Vokalenemble Stuttgart, with special thanks to Edward O Wilson
Walkman Antiquarian : for grand piano, sampler and two percussion (2013) Commissioned by Yarn/Wire (musical group).
Cradles : for percussion duo, with live or pre-recorded Wurlitzer e-piano (2013) Commissioned by Maerzmusik Berlin, Julian Burnside.
Peacemaker tattoo : for orchestra (2011) Commissioned by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Cottbus State Theater, Germany
The Great Knot : for percussion trio (2011) Commissioned by Speak Percussion.

Analysis & Media

- Article: Off the beaten track

- Document: Short, Random ideas June in Buffalo works evoke a contrast of thoughts and feelings